The Illinois College family is saddened with the loss of a beloved professor and dean emeritus, Dr. Wallace “Wally” Newlin Jamison. Jamison, 92, of Jacksonville, died Saturday, October 9, 2010, at Passavant Area Hospital.
He was born August 1, 1918, in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of Presbyterian missionaries William Brainerd and Gertrude Newlin Jamison. He married Ruth Dean Galloway on November 16, 1943, in New York City, and she preceded him in death in 2005.
He is survived by four children, Kathryn (husband Bruce) Eelman of Susquehanna, Pa., Robert (wife Lisa) of Melrose, Mass., Mary (husband Tony) Wrobel of Bartlett, and James “Jay” (wife Kathy) Jamison of Jacksonville; as well as by six grandchildren; one great-grand daughter; one step grandson; and one step-great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his brother, Paul Jamison, M.D.
Jamison graduated from the Schutz American School in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1936 and was an Eagle Scout. He received a B.A. degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., in 1941 and a Th.B. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1943. He received a Ph.D. degree in history from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1948. Jamison was a World War II Navy veteran, serving in the Mediterranean theater as a Navy chaplain in North Africa, and during the invasions of Sicily and Italy. He briefly served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Indianola, Iowa, before being appointed as professor of history at Westminster College in Pennsylvania. In 1956 Jamison became academic dean and professor of church history at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, N.J. He was later made president of the seminary in 1963. In 1970 Jamison was appointed by President L. Vernon Caine as dean of the college and professor of history at Illinois College where he served until retirement in 1985.
During his long and active life of community service, Jamison served as president of the following organizations: the Jacksonville Rotary Club, the Club, the Jacksonville Symphony Society, the Jacksonville Senior Center and the West Central Illinois Council on World Affairs. He also served as interim pastor and parish associate at First Presbyterian Church and interim pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church, both in Jacksonville, was a member of the Sunshine Singers and a mentor of the Money Management program at Prairie Council on Aging. One of his latest and most widely known recent activities had been as a tutor at Franklin Elementary School in Jacksonville where he helped first- and second-graders learn to read. Jamison was inducted into the Jacksonville Hall of Fame in 2008.
In a press release marking his 1985 retirement, Jamison stated, “IC is a wonderful place to start your working life if you are a student, and a wonderful place to end it if you are a professor.” President Steuer remarked, “Wally Jamison was a dedicated teacher, visionary leader and gifted administrator. He made Illinois College a stronger institution academically and made a lasting impact on many Jacksonville organizations. We will all miss his warm personality and will continue to build on the rich legacy he left us.”
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 23, 2010, at First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. His ashes will be interred next to those of his wife, Ruth, at the Fair Oaks Cemetery in New Wilmington, Pa., at a future date. The family will meet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 22, 2010, at Williamson Funeral Home in Jacksonville. Memorials are suggested to First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville or to Illinois College. Condolences may be left at www.airsman-hires.com